Orthodontics involves the correction of malpositioned or crooked teeth using braces.
Treatment may involve fixed or removable appliances , depending on the complexity of the situation. The average treatment time is about one year. Occasionally, it may be necessary to extract teeth to get additional space to correct crowding . After fixed braces , retainers( removable plate) have to be worn for at least six months , so that the teeth do not drift back to their pre-treatment position.
Braces aren’t just for children any more. In fact, adults now make up about 20 to 30 percent of patients who undergo orthodontic treatment in order to close gaps, straighten teeth or improve their smile. It is also used in conjunction with other cosmetic dentistry procedures like bonding and laminates. Orthodontics is also combined with orthognathic surgery to correct skeletal mismatches of the jaws.
In the past orthodontics was shunned by adults as the treatment was lengthy and the old fashioned metal braces were unattractive. However, with the advent of ceramic or tooth coloured braces and “behind the teeth” or lingual braces, this is now no longer as much of a problem.